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The strange saga of an alleged FBI-paid instigator

By Diane Bukowski -Special to Final Call- | Last updated: Sep 11, 2009 - 8:49:17 AM

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Feds charge webcaster for threats against White officials, not former Black congresswoman

Hal Turner at National Socialist Movement event, 2006
( - Controversial New Jersey webcaster Hal Turner was a paid FBI provocateur when he called on his audience to lynch former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia while she was still in office in 2006, his attorney told an AP reporter Aug. 18.

U.S. attorneys in Illinois and New Jersey have charged Mr. Turner with threatening to kill government officials, including three White U.S. Seventh Circuit Court judges and two state legislators in Connecticut, after he ended his alleged undercover term with the FBI. He is currently being held without bond in Chicago.

“Interesting that charges stem from his comments against Connecticut lawmakers and Illinois judges, but not from the threats against me, a sitting member of Congress at the time,” Ms. McKinney told her supporters in an email. “To whom can I, or anyone else turn, when the government, itself, is the instigator?”

On his website in 2006, Mr. Turner called on his listeners to lynch Ms. McKinney.

“Cynthia McKinney is a violent, Black, racist b--ch,” Mr. Turner said in one post. . . . . ‘Given the prevalence of Black crime in America, would it serve the public good to LYNCH Congresswoman McKinney within the next few weeks, while she's on the campaign trail, so as to send an unmistakable message to other Blacks: White people are tired of your bull----, behave or die.”

In a second post, Mr. Turner asked, “I wonder how she would look swinging on the end of a rope? . . . I bet such a lynching would . . . send a powerful message to every uppity n----- in the country— ‘even the most powerful n-----s can get lynched!”

Mr. Turner published Ms. McKinney's office address on his website, as he did in the case of the Illinois judges. Atty. Michael Orozco, whose firm has represented Mr. Turner for five years, told the AP that the FBI trained Mr. Turner in the use of such threats to cause the arrests of right-wingers during his time as an agent provocateur, from 2002-07.

Cynthia McKinney
Ms. McKinney said her staffer John Judge reported the threat to New Jersey Homeland Security and the FBI but was told only, “We know all about Mr. Turner.” No charges were brought.

In an affidavit charging Mr. Turner for the threats against the Seventh Circuit judges, Chicago FBI Special Agent John Marsh said, “FBI agents searched the archived history of the website” He cited threats against Indiana Circuit Court judges and others, but not the threats against Ms. McKinney. That website and another run by Mr. Turner have since been shutdown,

Rep. McKinney ran for president on the Green Party slate in 2008, after serving six terms as Georgia's first Black congresswoman. While in office, she called for the impeachment of former President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for launching the war in Iraq, advocated for Hurricane Katrina victims, condemned Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people, and called for an investigation of the U.S. government's prior knowledge of the events of 9/11.

She is now a national and international activist. Ms. McKinney was detained on June 30 for six days by Israeli authorities, along with others aboard the ship The Spirit of Humanity, which sought to deliver food and medical supplies to besieged Palestinians.

Derek Grigsby, chair of the Detroit, Michigan chapter of the Green Party, said, “We wholeheartedly condemn the FBI's behavior in instigating the threats against our presidential candidate. We call for the Obama administration to investigate Turner's threats against Congresswoman McKinney and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.”

Mr. Grigsby added, “It goes to show that the FBI is and always has been part of a campaign to create a racist and divisive climate in the U.S. in order to maintain the system.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said that he had not yet heard of the threats to lynch Ms. McKinney, but would call her immediately. The office of U.S. Attorney Eric Holder had not returned a call asking whether they planned to open an investigation into the threats before Final Call press time.

Related links:

Former FBI agent becomes vocal critic of bureau's lack of accountability (FCN, 10-24-2007)

The FBI-Manufactured Plot to Kill Farrakhan (03-1995)

The United States COINTELPRO Reading Room (